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Publications after 2015

Report - Fragmented Transitions in the Context of Competitive Regionalism: The Case of Ethiopia; Abel Abate Demissie, Leulseged Girma & Jan Pospisil, June 2022

Fragmented Transitions in the Context of Competitive Regionalism: The Case of Ethiopia

This report aims to explore the new regional configuration in the Wider Horn, with Ethiopia as its centre. It analyses perceptions and expectations of all relevant actors in this configuration, treating Ethiopia as both a country subject to regional power projection in its own fragile political transition, and as a regional player in its own right. After a first outlook on the interlinkages of internal and regional dynamics, the report will expand on the historical pretext of the current configuration that evolves around Ethiopia’s transition. It will then analyse the perceptions and expectations between Ethiopia and the regional players, before suggesting some preliminary conclusions on what could be learned from the dynamic structural setup in the Wider Horn for other transitional regional configurations.

Report - Fragmented Transitions in the Context of Competitive Regionalism: The Case of Sudan, Alice Jenner & Jan Pospisil,  June 2022

Fragmented Transitions in the Context of Competitive Regionalism: The Case of Sudan

After the 2019 ousting of the long-standing dictator Omar al-Bashir, the re-configuration of the Sudanese political scene emerged in two phases. First, the agreement on a transitional constitutional document that brought the civil revolutionary forces into a fragile political settlement; second, the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, that added a number of armed opposition movements into the power-sharing mix. The attempted “twin transition” – from authoritarianism to democracy, and armed conflict to peace – was effectively stalled by a coup led by the military component of the fragile power-sharing arrangement in 2021.

Report & Policy Brief - Summarizes findings of a national survey on perceptions of peace in South Sudan in late 2021, Authors: David Deng, Sophia Dawkins, Christopher Oringa and Jan Pospisil, May / June 2022

National Survey on Perceptions of Peace in South Sudan

Based on empirical evidence from the survey, for the transitional process to be credible, it must go hand in hand with tangible improvements to security conditions in people’s everyday lives. Positive views can enable peace and security to grow from the bottom up, as people engage with the transitional process in a meaningful manner. When it comes to securing public trust in the transition in South Sudan, interventions that help communities to establish and protect security at a local level are more important than the ‘deadline diplomacy’ and implementation checklists that have characterized the transitional process thus far.

Civil Wars - The Power of Narratives in Conflict and Peace: The Case of Contemporary Iraq, Moritz Ehrmann & Gearoid Millar, 20 Jan 2022

The Power of Narratives in Conflict and Peace: The Case of Contemporary Iraq

Presenting original data from interviews conducted in Iraq between 2013 and 2019, this paper charts the evolution of conflict related narratives of the ‘other’ among members of the Sunni confession immediately prior to, during, and after the rise and fall of the Islamic State (IS). It charts the evolution of these narratives through three escalatory phases (victimhood narratives, divisive narratives, and violent narratives) and three de-escalatory phases (nuanced narratives, reconciliatory narratives, and unifying narratives). It concludes with reflections on the lessons this case can provide for identifying the best moments for Conflict Resolution actors to intervene in such violent conflicts.

Der Strategische Kompass der Europäischen Union. Ziele, Perspektiven und Chancen für Österreich - BMLV 2021, Der Strategische Kompass in einer komplexen Welt: 112-119, Lukas Wank & Moritz Ehrmann 

Der Strategische Kompass in einer komplexen Welt

Monokausalität und Verknappung der die Welt prägenden Komplexität sind Herausforderungen, denen ein orthodoxes Sicherheitsverständnis nicht entgegentreten kann. Der Strategische Kompass der Europäischen Union hat das Potenzial, über einen integrativen Prozess zwischen EU-Mitgliedsstaaten nicht nur erhöhte Kohärenz in eine europäische strategische Kultur zu bringen, sondern auch einen umfangreicheren Sicherheitsbegriff zu vertreten. Österreich, als neutrales Land, hätte die Möglichkeit und Expertise, sich für einen solchen Begriff einzubringen

The Defence Horizon Journal, No. 5/2021, Special Edition - Whole-of-Government Approaches, Oktober 2021, Wank Lukas, Impulse für den 3C-Ansatz in Österreich, 16-20


A look around the world shows that conflicts are becoming more protracted and climate-related shocks more intense. In order to counter these, achieve sustainable development and facilitate lasting solutions for human security, humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peacebuilding are needed simultaneously. In this respect, Austria took early steps with the Vienna 3C Appeal 2010 to coordinate the engagement of actors from different policy areas in fragile situations. After more than ten years of applying the 3C approach in Austria, the need for coherence, coordination and complementarity between security, humanitarian, development and peace measures remains unchanged. This paper therefore presents impulses and ideas that could complement, enrich or revitalise the established approach as needed and appropriate.

Local Peace Processes, September 2021 by Nizar Ahmad, Aya Alsafadi, Irene Bahati, Juline Beaujouan, Christine Bell, Annika Björkdahl, Tim Epple, Robert Forster, Annette Idler, Feras Kheirallah, Martin Ochaya Lino Agwella, Roger Mac Ginty, Jérémie Mapatano, Jan Pospisil, Chris Thornton, Farhat Ullah, Robert Wilson & Laura Wise


In recent years, the difficulties and failures of national level peace processes have prompted increased attention on ‘the local’ as a space of conflict resolution.
The papers presented here suggest both the existence of local peacemaking, and the impossibility of delimiting what is merely ‘local’ about it. This in turn points to a need for a new political imaginary for peace processes, which would go beyond the idea that it is about brokering elite pacts reached in a comprehensive peace agreement.
The contributions to this Collection all conclude that local agreements deserve greater attention as a peacemaking tool. They also demonstrate variation in how local agreements are used within and across contexts, and indicate significant involvement of international actors in many contexts.

Konfliktlandschaften des Südsudan, July 2021 von Jan Pospisil


Nach einem jahrzehntelangen Bürgerkrieg erlangt die Republik Südsudan am 9. Juli 2011 ihre Unabhängigkeit. Doch trotz aller Bemühungen um einen friedlichen Staatsaufbau nimmt die erste Dekade der Eigenstaatlichkeit einen gewaltsamen Verlauf: Im Dezember 2013 schlittert der Südsudan in einen blutig geführten Bürgerkrieg, der sich nicht als einheitlicher Konflikt mit klar definierbaren Parteien, sondern zu einem Amalgam komplex verschachtelter Konfliktlandschaften entwickelt. In analytischen Vignetten, die verschiedene Regionen sowie die nationale und internationale Dimension des Bürgerkrieges untersuchen, gibt Jan Pospisil einen Einblick in die südsudanesische Konfliktrealität.

HDP Nexus in Africa - Study GIZ, June 2021 by Jan Pospisil, Augustin Nicolescou, Birgit Mayerhofer 

The HDP Nexus in the Context of Peace Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa

The expansion of peacekeeping operation mandates, as well as the mandates of many public and civil society organisations engaged in humanitarian relief, development, and peacebuilding, are a constant challenge for policy and the work in the field. Particularly in fragile contexts where large-scale peacekeeping missions are present, a multitude of actors work in overlapping, but still distinct, sectors on mitigating and transitioning from complex crises. The Humanitarian-Peace-Development (HDP) Nexus, which emerged following the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, suggests one pathway for bridging the gaps between these three traditionally distinct areas of crisis intervention ...

Lehren aus Corona und anderen existentiellen Krisen, April 2021 von Werner Wintersteiner


Die Grenzen und Zwänge, auf die nationalstaatliche Politik im Kontext der Corona-Pandemie stößt, sind Ausdruck einer »multiplen Krisenkonstellation«. Sie können aber ebenso als Anstoß für lokale wie globale Richtungsentscheidungen kreativ gewendet werden. In scharfsichtigen und einfühlsamen Essays, herausgegeben von Hans Karl Peterlini, wirft Werner Wintersteiner nicht nur zentrale Fragen des Lebens und Überlebens auf, sondern zeichnet auch Entwürfe für Auswege aus den globalen Krisen. Aus der Kritik an der imperialen Lebensweise der Gegenwart entwickelt er die konkrete Utopie einer Wende hin zu Frieden, Solidarität, Gerechtigkeit und einem sanften Umgang mit der Natur: Ein Plädoyer für eine planetare Politik.

Journal: Transnational Legal Theory, September 2020 by Jan Pospisil

The ungovernance of peace: transitional processes in contemporary conflictscapes

Resolving armed conflict by forging an inclusive political settlement is the contemporary paradigm of international peacebuilding. War-to-peace transitions are envisioned as a sequenced process, cumulating in a signed comprehensive peace agreement as the central cornerstone on the pathway to normal politics. However, the reality of peace processes appears ungoverned. While peace negotiations may succeed in formalising political unsettlement at play and to tame violence, they regularly fail in resolving the radical disagreement at the heart of the conflict. Liberal peace governance, resting on the pillars of settlement, resolution, and relation, is unlikely to deliver its promised outcomes. The irresolvable discrepancy between the promise of liberal peace and its inability to deliver is the background against which peace ungovernance emerges. It operates under the premise of non-closure in enduring transitions, where time, space, and relationality are not subject to an agreed common understanding, but elements of strategy and politics.

Contested World Orders: Rising Powers, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Politics of Authority Beyond the Nation-State, eds. Matthew D. Stephen and Michael Zürn, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2019, by Pascal Abb & Anja Jetschke

The devil is in the detail: The positions of BRICS countries towards UN Security Council reform and the responsibility to protect

This chapter addresses the authority of the United Nations Security Council and its politicization by the BRICS. In particular, it explores the patterns of contestation for the reform of the United Nations Security Council and the Responsibility to Protect. How do the BRICS position themselves towards these two issues and how do they justify their demands? Do they build a challengers’ coalition? Using, first, a qualitative analysis of BRICS statements and, second, congruence analysis, this chapter maps and explains the positions of BRICS states on UNSC reform and R2P. We find that BRICS’ individual positions show a convergence on the basic contours of UNSC reform and R2P. The contestation pattern clearly indicates that this group favours the UNSC having strong international authority and also that they share concerns about the liberal content of the UNSC. While there is a strong tendency towards convergence on the one hand, BRICS strongly disagree on the details of the reform of the UNSC - as well as on the implementation of R2P on the other. These differences are so strong that they are unlikely to be resolved in the near future. Congruence analysis shows that power transition theory best explains their agreement ‘in principle’, but that none of the available theories explain their disagreement ‘in detail’. We conclude that, as things stand, the BRICS do not pose a challenge to the status quo in governance within the field of international security.

Modern China, online 2019, print forthcoming, by Pascal Abb

Leaders or “Guides” of Public Opinion? The Media Role of Chinese Foreign Policy Experts

This article explores the growing role of think tank experts in Chinese media coverage on international issues and determines the degree to which voices in this spectrum diverge from each other as well as the official line espoused by China’s central media organs. It combines a large-sample sentiment analysis of commentaries published by three major institutes that have developed significant public profiles with an in-depth discussion of selected pieces written by especially prolific experts. Based on the results, I argue that Chinese expert commenters sometimes enrich media coverage and show a substantial variety in opinions among them, but prevailing political constraints, skewed incentives, and a slanted media environment keep them from realizing their full potential as public intellectuals. This limits their usefulness both for improving policy outcomes and for managing public expectations about China’s rise.

Florez H., Leon M., Diaz-Nafria J., Belli S. (eds): Applied Informatics. ICAI 2019. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1051. Springer, Cham, by Gudrun Kramer

ICTs Connecting Global Citizens, Global Dialogue and Global Governance. A Call for Needful Designs

mit Wolfgang Hofkirchner, José María Díaz-Nafría, Peter Crowley, Wilfried Graf, Hans-Jörg Kreowski and Werner Wintersteiner

Claudio Naranjo et al: Una Era para la consciencia: Un enfoque multidisciplinario a cargo de 18 autores destacados. Editiones El Grano de Mostaza, Barcelona 2019, by Gudrun Kramer, Wilfried Graf & Augustin Nicolescou

Transformación interactiva del conflicto y construcción de la paz a través del diálogo profundo 

Claudio Naranjo et al: The Age of Consciousness. Editiones El Grano de Mostaza, Barcelona 2019, by Gudrun Kramer, Wilfried Graf und Augustin Nicolescou

InteraCtive Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding through Deep Dialogue

David Brown et al (eds.): Sandhurst Trends in International Conflict: Failed States. Havant: Howgate Publishing, 2019 by Jan Pospisil

Building states to build peace revisited: empirical insights from peace negotiations in fragile states

CRP/PSRP Memo, December 2019, by Alex de Waal, Alan Boswell, David Deng, Rachel Ibreck, Matthew Benson and Jan Pospisil

South Sudan: The Politics of Delay

There are many outstanding questions in South Sudan that can be addressed in the coming 100 days. It is impractical to expect these issues to be settled, but it is possible to minimize the risks of regression (the breakdown of the ceasefire and a return to war) and it is feasible to move forward on crucial topics, as outlined in the previous section. Insofar as the internationals want to signal their discontent with the parties’ lack of good faith and their determination to see a better outcome for the South Sudanese people, they are advised to apply pressure on resolving the key issues, rather than applying pressure on the deadline.

Accord 28 - Navigating inclusion in peace processes - Conciliation Resources, pp. 18-22 by Jan Pospisil

Peacebuilding and principled pragmatism

Supporting inclusive peace is the core mission of peacebuilding policy today and is reflected in the international development consensus in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. To empirically investigate the interrelation between peacebuilding and inclusion, the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) has generated a new and innovative data source, the PA-X Peace Agreement Database.

Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies, 2019 by Jan Pospisil

Peace in Political Unsettlement - Beyond Solving Conflict

International peacebuilding has reached an impasse. Its lofty ambitions have resulted in at best middling success, punctuated by moments of outright failure. The discrediting of the term ‘liberal peacebuilding’ has seen it evolve to respond to the numerous critiques. Notions such as ‘inclusive peace’ merge the liberal paradigm with critical notions of context, and the need to refine practices to take account of ‘the local’ or ‘complexity’. However, how this would translate into clear guidance for the practice of peacebuilding is unclear. 

Review of „Cochrane, Feargal et al., Abingdon: Routledge Focus“, The RUSI Journal, 2018, 164:3, 75-77, by Jan Pospisil

Mediating Power-Sharing: Devolution and Consociationalism in Deeply Divided Societies

PA-X Report: POWER-SHARING SERIES, 2018, by Christine Bell, Sam Gluckstein, Robert Forster & Jan Pospisil

Military Power- Sharing and Inclusion in Peace Processes

This research report provides information and analysis on when and how peace agreements provide for military power-sharing, and the implications for broader projects of social inclusion in the security sector based on the rule of law. It forms one of a series of reports into power-sharing drawing on the new PA-X Peace Agreement Database. Other reports address political power-sharing (Bell 2018), territorial power-sharing (Wise 2018), and economic power-sharing (Bell 2018a).

The purpose of the gender briefing series, Oktober 2018 by Christine Bell & Jan Pospisil

‘Securing’ peace: women and security arrangements in peace processes

This brief is part of a Gender Briefing Series to support women’s meaningful participation and the integration of gender perspectives in peace processes that aim to end violent intrastate conflict.The key target audience is women, gender equality advocates and others engaged in peace processes, who wish to influence negotiations with a view to: (a) addressing the particular experiences of women during conflict, and (b) achieving lasting peace process outcomes that will improve women’s lives and the lives of those around them.

Gender Briefing Series, Oktober 2018, by Jan Pospisil & Christine Bell


This brief is part of a Gender Briefing Series to support women’s meaningful participation and the integration of gender perspectives in peace processes that aim to end violent intrastate conflict. The key target audience is women, gender equality advocates and others engaged in peace processes, who wish to influence negotiations with a view to: (a) addressing the particular experiences of women during conflict, and (b) achieving lasting peace process outcomes that will improve women’s lives and the lives of those around them.

Sommerakademie 2018


In den letzten Jahren ist die Betätigung sowohl zivilgesellschaftlicher, als auch multi- und bilateraler Akteure in der Friedens- und Entwicklungszusammenarbeit in vielen Ländern zunehmend unter Druck geraten – auch in Europa und in konsolidierten Demokratien ... 
Vom 8. bis 13. Juli 2018 fand die 35. Sommerakademie auf Burg Schlaining statt, die sich das Thema "Mit dem Rücken zur Wand - Kritisches Engagement in Zeiten von Shrinking Space" gesetzt hatte. Der umfangreiche Bericht zur Veranstaltung ist hier verfügbar.

Security Beyond the State, pp. 33-53, June 2018, by Jan Pospisil

Obscuring Ambiguity:: Resilience in EU External Affairs Policy

Pospisil, Jan: Obscuring Ambiguity: Resilience in EU External Affairs Policy, Claudia Morsut and Daniela Irrera (eds.): Security Beyond the State: The EU in an Age of Transformation. Leverkusen 2018: Barbara Budrich Publishers, 33-53.

Hochschullehrgang „Global Peace Education“

Grundlagen, Retrospektive und Projektberichte

PH, ASPR, KiJA (Hg.): Hochschullehrgang „Global Peace Education“. Eisenstadt – Stadtschlaining, Juni 2018.

Zeitschrift für Beratungs- & Managementwissenschaften, Praxis und Forschung im Dialog, 2018, Wilfried Graf & Gudrun Kramer

Erfahrungen mit Interaktiver Konflikttransformation

Der Beitrag diskutiert Erfahrungen des Herbert C. Kelman Instituts mit inoffizieller Diplomatie und Konfliktvermittlung in Sri Lanka, Israel-Palästina und Österreich (Kärnten) – Slowenien. Die Autor*innen beschreiben das Verfahren der „Interaktiven Konfliktransformation“, das auf die Pionierarbeit des aus Wien stammenden Harvard-Sozialpsychologen Herbert C. Kelman zurückgeht.

Sommerakademie 2017


In den vergangenen Jahren hat eine Abfolge von Krisen, Umbrüchen und Konflikten nicht nur dazu beigetragen, vermeintliche Gewissheiten in Frage zu stellen, sondern auch das Grundvertrauen eines Teils der Bevölkerung in die Politik und andere Organe des öffentlichen Lebens in ganz Europa zu erschüttern ... 
Der Bericht von der 34. Sommerakademie auf Burg Schlaining "Welt im Umbruch - Perspektiven für europäische Friedenspolitik" ist hier online verfügbar.

International Development - Special Issue: Political Settlements, July 2017 by Christine Bell & Jan Pospisil

Navigating Inclusion in Transitions from Conflict: The Formalised Political Unsettlement

The project of ensuring that political settlements are inclusive is key to attempts to navigate transitions from conflict over the last quarter of a century or so. Examining such transitions, we point to the emergence of the ‘formalised political unsettlement’ as a persistent outcome. The formalised political unsettlement translates the disagreement at the heart of the conflict into a set of political and legal institutions for continuing negotiation. As the conditions of its emergence are unlikely to change and the formalised political unsettlement may be here to stay, we point to the opportunities for navigating between elite inclusion and broader societal inclusion that it offers. 

Third World Quaterly, Volume 37, 2016 by Jan Pospisil & Florian P. Kühn

The resilient state: new regulatory modes in international approaches to state building?

‘Resilience’ has quickly risen to prominence in international security and development circles. In recent years it has found its way into political discourse on state building and state fragility, triggering a vast but often conceptually indistinct examination of the subject. Given its meaning in policy publications and guidelines, ‘resilience’ tends to eschew a static conceptualisation of statehood, turning instead to a more dynamic, complex and process-oriented rendering of state–society relations. This illustrates a conceptual shift from ‘failed states’ to ‘fragile states and situations’. It also transforms the concept of ‘failed state’ as a mere threat perception – with ‘stability’ as its logical other – into ‘fragility’ as a particular form of social and political risk. This paper analyses the concepts in 43 policy papers, focusing on the nexus of ‘resilience’ and ‘fragility’ in international state building, and assesses potential consequences. What does ‘resilience’ – as the opposite vision to ‘fragility’ – in fact mean? What is the practice derived from this chimerical state of states? 

Dialog - Beiträge zur Friedensforschung, Band 71 (2016)


"Um Gottes Willen?" - unter diesem Motto widmete sich die Schlaininger Sommerakademie 2016 der ambivalenten Rolle von Religion in Konflikten. Im Rahmen von Podiumsdiskussionen, Vorträgen und Workshops diskutierten dabei rund hundert internationale Teilnehmer*innen mit ExpertI*innen aus Wissenschaft und Praxis das Wechselspiel von Religion als Konflikt- bzw. Mobilisierungsfaktor einerseits sowie als Ressource für friedlichen Dialog und nachhaltige Konfliktbearbeitung andererseits.

Resilience - International Policies, Practices and Discourses, Volume 4, 2016, by Jan Pospisil & Barbara Gruber

Resilience and the transformation of sovereign security: a look at policy challenges and interests

Resilience is on the rise in security policies, at the international as well as at the national level. Current academic research often links resilience with either the neoliberal retreat of the state and the respective attempt of ‘governing from a distance’, or with an almost totalitarian grasp of ‘resilient subjects’, or both. Against the background of the application of resilience in UK security policy, this article argues that resilience does neither of these. Instead, it unfolds as a rather mundane endeavour focused on micro-practices of civil emergency response at the local level. In doing so, resilience enables the repackaging of ‘unbound security’, which was doomed to fail in delivering its promise. It is, however, neither offering another promise nor symbolising a retreat from state responsibility, but engages in a defensive micro-management of potential catastrophe. Resilience hence does not replace security as a practice of the state deriving from its sovereignty, but links up with it to create a nexus between the doable and the undoable, the resilience-security-nexus.


In cooperation with KAIPTC in Ghana, ASPR released this edited online volume on Humanitarian Assistance in the ECOWAS region. The publication draws together ideas and thoughts of practitions and theorists. With contributions from Svenja Wolter, Afua Agyeiwaa Lamptey, Serwaa Allotey-Pappoe, Stefan Ziegler, Eva Birk, Laura Swift, Jessica Saulle, Tobias Burgers, Christian C. M. Ichite, Monique Bowmanere, and Alois A. Hirschmugl. 2015


"Governance in Conflict" zur STOP 2015